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25th Jan 2024

Jurgen Klopp makes tough Caoimhin Kelleher cup final decision

Lee Costello

Caoimhin Kelleher

“I want to give him desperately the opportunity to play.”

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is facing a tough decision as his team prepares to play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final – to stick with Caoimhín Kelleher in nets or not?

The Irishman has been the starting goalkeeper throughout the competition, despite the fact that Alisson Becker is the number-one choice, and widely regarded as one of the best keepers in the world.

Klopp’s dilemma is whether or not to reward Kelleher’s efforts by giving him the starting position at Wembley or give his team the best chance possible of winning and play Alisson in goal.

Jurgen Klopp makes tough Caoimhin Kelleher cup final decision.

Back in 2022, not only did the German manager start the Irish star, but he also kicked the winning penalty against Chelsea.

So, it is likely that Klopp will stick to his guns and start the Cork native against Chelsea at Wembley in the cup final next month.

“Imagine that,” remarked Klopp, when it was mentioned that Kelleher was expected to start at Wembley.

“Caoimhin is a top, top goalie and when Ali is fit, then he doesn’t have a lot of games, I want to give him desperately the opportunity to play.

“This competition I told Ali before the season, two years ago actually…that’s how it works (it’s Kelleher’s competition).”

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Kelleher and his future at Liverpool, particularly because he is fighting to become the number one keeper for Ireland as well.


Jurgen Klopp admits that frustrated Caoimhin Kelleher is “not smiling a lot”.

Despite interest from other clubs, the shot-stopper has remained at Anfield, and outside of the Carabao Cup, he has not seen much game time.

“He’s not smiling a lot, at least when I’m around,” Klopp admitted.

“But after the game, I could see he was really happy about qualifying again and having the chance again to win another trophy in his career. It would be a big one.

“We were just ready for this game and that’s the most important thing. I saw Marco Silva’s press conference and we know what this game meant to them and so I told the boys we have to also show it,” Klopp added.

“We had to show it to the outside world that we wanted it as much as them and I saw that.

“We had to get over the line and we did. It feels great, we are really happy, the boys wanted it and they got it and so we have 10 games to play before the final in four weeks or so. We are looking forward to Wembley.

 “It will be a big one but we all know it’s against Chelsea. They will want to put history right after playing us twice two years ago.”

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